This Weekend's News and Commentary: November 23-24

Published November 24th, 2013 -  - 11.24.132


The New York Times reports that union leader Eliseo Medina is on the 13th day of a water-only fast. Mr. Medina, the second highest official in his union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), began fasting to bring attention to immigrants’ rights, arguing that “unions should embrace unauthorized foreign workers, rather than shun them as job stealers.”  At 67 years old, Mr. Medina has said that he will continue fasting until his body gives out. The fast is taking place on the National Mall.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles police union issued a press release in an effort to protect the reputations of LAPD officers being accused of using excessive force during an arrest. The press release included a recording of the arrestee, made by police a few days before the arrest, wherein the arrestee admits to having used a synthetic drug than can cause paranoia. The LA Times cites this case as offering a glimpse into “how the union mobilized in an effort to defend officers they believe have been wrongly accused.”

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the city has been debating the issue of employee pay for the past several weeks. The Associated Press reports that public sector employees are arguing for merit increases and longevity bonuses. The city acknowledges that a pay increase for public employees is necessary to raise pay to a rate that is comparable to similarly situated communities. A task force is  being created to examine ways the system might be overhauled to free up funding for these raises. It is estimated that almost $9 million per year will be needed. The consultants tasked with this effort found that employee benefits are better than those in comparable communities and younger employees are more concerned with immediate pay than retirement.

The San Francisco Chronicle repots that, Diamond Resorts International, a large hospitality company, has begun using biometric finger print time clocks at its different properties across the United States.

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